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I was working my shift (The 3rd-10p-8a) and I got a call from a customer that was having some trouble.  I am a Technical solutions Consultant III at HPE with the SimpliVity Solution. His name was BlueJay. I said to him “that is an interesting name, how did you come by it?” He replied that is was a long story and it had something to do with learning to fly. It was close to the end of my shift and I handed him over to the day shift, but a unique nickname like that got me to thinking about my nicknames. This is also a “long story”.

My mother told me when I was much younger that when I was born, my parents wanted me to be named Mickey Craven. (my last name changed when my dad adopted me in 1968) She said that when her parents came to see her (and me) in the hospital, that my German-Lutheran grandparents said that my name was much to Irish and they wished she would change her mind. That’s how the name Michael came to be mine. Everyone referred to me as “Mikey”.

Now in the 1970’s Quaker Oats Company came out with a cereal called Life. A boy (John Gilcrist) was called “Mikey” and they had an ad campaign based on “Mikey Likes It”. “Let Mikey try it, he hates everything” became a common statement around my house, so my name pretty much went from Mickey to Mikey and the name Michael was only used when my mother was real angry with me. People that know me are comfortable calling me Mikey but being the old curmudgeon I am most the time now, it is just “Mike”.

I was in the Army and spent 3 years in and around the Korean DMZ. My then wife was Korean and lived in a local village there. I was a forward observer (FO) for the artillery battalion in that area. People usually called me by my rank of Sergeant. (Sargent Seden). A couple of years later at Fort Stewart, I worked for General Schwarzkopf when he was a Major (2 star) General, that would turn into “Sargent Yes” as ‘yes’ was the only reply I wanted to hear when communicating an order.

During my time in the DMZ, there was a firebase called ‘4Papa1’ and it was the only live firebase in the Army anywhere in the world. We always had 6 guns pointed at targets in North Korea, to protect our troops. Part of my duties was to “register” the guns every 3 days or so or when the weather changed. They would take 1 gun and turn it around and I would have to ‘register’ it by getting rounds close to the target. That way they would have very accurate data to set the guns with.

On one of these trips to the register them, I had finished registering the gun, and the fire direction center (FDC) asked me to call a fire mission to expend some old ammo. A “Danger Close” fire mission requires the guns to shoot at that target until the FO says quit, or they run out of ammo. I sent them a grid coordinate for a small stream intersection, at the base of the hill I was on next to the edge of the impact area.

As I got “shot over” over the radio a flock of ducks flew in and started to settle into that spot. The rounds came rapidly and as the first one landed the ducks flew away. The rounds were HE (High Explosive) and WP (white phosphorus) and there was 6 of each. The ammo expended, I ended the fire mission and got ready to leave. The WP had started a small fire at thee edge of the impact area and I didn’t want to leave it, so I took my Private and a shovel and we went down the hill.

We put out the small fires and as I was headed back to the jeep I saw a Green Winged Teal duck (Eurasian) laying on the ice of the stream with a trickle of blood running from it’s bill. I love duck and seeing no physical injury (the concussion killed it) I took the duck home, the a local mamasan cleaned it and we had it for supper.  It was nothing special until the next day.

I got up and did the normal Army stuff and when I got to the Motor pool, there was a duck with an artillery round chasing it and feathers flying off painted on my vehicle. I became Sargent Duck hunter. I was known as the “The Duck Hunter” for the rest of my tour in Korea. I hunted ducks as a kid and still have a few decoys, duck calls and “duck memorabilia” along with that nickname. The ringtone on my phone is a duck quacking.

To finish up this ‘long story’ I will close by saying that I am the only person you will ever meet, that has hunted with a 105mm howitzer, shot down a duck and took it home and ate it.



__it Happens

I have a little me time in the morning and try to meditate and ask God for help and guidance. I was thinking about where I am at and what I hope comes next. – I finished my chemo treatments for lung cancer on the 10th at the VA Hospital, and I am working at getting back to my second or third new normal in the last 2 years. They also did the surgery on me and removed the lobe with the cancer back in May. Anyway, I read this quote by John Neal as part of my meditation’s. I wonder why there have been so many “growth opportunities” (or what we I called “AFGOs” in the Army) lately. It is :

“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind. Even a head wind is better than none. No man ever worked his passage anywhere in a dead calm.”

This made me think of a poem on a plaque we have at home from Ella Wheeler-

“One ship drives east and another drives west with the selfsame winds that blow.   Tis the set of the sails and not the gales which tells us the way to go.   Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate, as we voyage along through the life:   Tis the set of a soul that decides its goal, and not the calm or the strife. ”

I have concluded that there will always be “A certain amount of opposition” in the events of my life and that it is normal and healthy. When the opposition appears it is up to me to choose which way I will be influenced. That is the set of my sail. If I ask for guidance before I start in that direction, I usually end up right where I am supposed to be. If the course needs to be altered while on the way, (usually because of some kind of new opposition) there is less pain in the change. The opposition will always be present and change always happens. This morning I think I will pray and ask for guidance, and then I will talk to a trusted peer. I also hope you fare well in the ever-changing winds of life.

Memorial Day – Day by Day Comments

It’s a mad mad mad mad mad world… It seems like those blue-city-states are running out of other people’s money… and the hated top 10% are taking their money & heading out. One thing I know for certain is the Dems running said cities into the ground will blame everyone else but themselves for the shit show they’ve created & perpetuated.

Communists: taking everything but the blame, since 1918!

Quite true. And they are going to do their damned best with their hands out to get the rest of the country to pay for their vote buying schemes and FAILED economic policies.

Not so sure about the “white” part, or the “men” part, but property owners should be the only people voting… Husband and wife own real property jointly, one vote each. Voters should have some “skin in the game,” but to keep developers from running away with the vote – no matter how many properties you own in how many different states, you get one vote and your spouse gets one vote in national elections. …and you have to own the property as a single or joint tenancy owner with a spouse, not a member of a corporate board that’s a holding company. Yes, you can be involved in that kind of corporate ownership and investment, but it doesn’t give you the vote unless you can stake down the corners of a livable property and say “THIS IS MINE! NOT not a part of the corporate holding

I think you should have to pay for your vote. Put a better way, the only way you get to vote is if you are a taxpayer. If you get “earned income” then you don’t qualify because you only take from the government without any buy in. Not working? Sorry, welfare is another bribe payout. In College? Then you are not supporting the government, you have no say to what money gets spent. It would end the Democrat party. Get rid of the lobbyists as well. Make it so no law can be passed that wasn’t personally written by a member of congress, unlike we have now with K-Street writing every single piece of legislation. The last bill that was written by someone elected to Congress was in the early 90’s.

Also, every law passed applies to everyone. Kongress kritters, unions, rich, poor, no cut outs, no set asides, no exemptions or exceptions.

Where you see “failure” I see successfully planned and executed destruction.
Before you can declare something to be either a success or a failure you must first have determined, beyond reasonable doubt, the intent behind it. In this case I don’t believe, given the evidence of history, that you can determine the intent behind authoritarianism to be peace, prosperity and security (except for the security of the power of a few rulers). When their doctrines and policies produce mass destruction, and even mass death, everywhere and every time they’re put into practice, and they double down afterward, and they’ve kept it up for generations, and keep at it now, never giving an inch on their doctrines, one can only conclude that the destruction is intentional. Stagnation, degradation and destruction are features, goals, ideals, not some unpredicted, unforeseen or unimagined bugs. Of course there are those who have been fooled into believing that “central planning”, coercive redistrinution and an authoritarian cult-of-personality will produce happiness; “peace”, “safety” and “Unity” and all that claptrap, but in such a case of mass deception there must be a deceiver, or a whole army of deceivers, behind it. Another aspect of all this is the lack of adult influence, which Chris has mentioned many times. Part of what we’re seeing is a Lord of the Flies scenario, where the deceivers and their ranks-of-the-deceived are running rampant and no one is stepping in giving them the facts of life. We’ve been compromised, our principles no longer clear. The Republican Party for example only wants to share in the spoils of the authoritarian system. The best they have to offer is a different style of authoritarianism; a cult of personality which appeals to a different audience than the one the Dems appeal to. Pick one, pick the other; it makes no real difference in the end (but of course they have us believing that it will make a difference no matter how long it’s failed to make any difference). So who is to blame for the trajectory this country has been on for over 120 years, and is still on, even this very day; the tricksters, or we suckers or cowards who either embrace or tolerate their tricks? Enjoy your Trump stimulus checks. The suckers of the Dems got their Obama Phones and we suckers of Trump got our Trump checks. God help us all. The original settlers of this land, from the Old World, by the way, may have been predominantly white, but their pertinent feature was Protestantism. Race has absolutely nothing to do with that. That’s a history most of us never learned, and without that particular history one can never understand what’s going on today.

But if you cut off people on Social Security, you put a major dent in the Republicans, too…

The order of battle for deconstructing the national government/restoring the federal, would necessarily require voiding the Code of Federal Regulations prior to nullifying the lobbyists efforts. This would inflict pain or euphoria to everyone on right, left or center to varying degrees they would all see the value in doing so. The CFR is the permanent bureaurcracies okygen. This one action would defeat both groups and substantially decrease the need of most executive orders that are meant to override the CFR/Perm Bureaucratic Rule. Once federal administrative law (unconstitutional before the Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883) is dealt this death blow, then congress is the sole originator of legislation again and the President actually controls the executive branch again. Whatever ills the 1883 act was meant to cure they pale in comparison to what has been wrought in its name since then. This would be the major part of a peaceful return to a future USA with the constitution as the supreme law of the land once again. The concerted extra-federal actions of the several states would be need to be curtailed dramatically or banned altogether by abolishing the three governors associations.
The left wants and needs a civil war similar to Russia 1917-1925 since they control the admin state and its MSM advertising arm along with some police/military. Clearly police/military leadership have been sporadically trending to the lefts pro gun confiscation camp since the 1930’s & 1960’s.

See Generals Petraeus, McInerny, and i believe even Flynn’s (he should still be released as he may have recently revised his stance on govt power over the individual) past statements on civilian ownership of weapons of “war”. They and some boys in blue would have no problem ordering order a future nationwide house to house search for “illegal” weapons.

Democrat plan is one stamp one vote.

You have a right to vote if you are:
An American citizen
You are over 18
You are paying taxes that year
You have served or are serving society as a soldier, sailor, guardsmen, or first responder
You get one vote and one vote only.
Any abuse of this right will result in the loss of that right and possible jail time. I think that convicted felons and democrats be disqualified by one of the above.

Apply the 14th Amendment properly. 30,000,000 or so mostly potential and actual Democrat voter base would be disenfranchised or outright exported or expelled back to their own nations that they are subject to the jurisdiction of. This is being mostly ignored for strategic reasons on both sided. I say expel DNC Chairman Tome Perez, after a due process fulfilling hearing, of course.
This is now a sort of quiet gorilla in the room now. Most Americans understand and agree on the principles involved. The enemy invaders and locals supporting them have worked hard to change the meaning of words and people’s understanding. So. Just ignore what I stated, for now.
I always comment locally. I don’t act as much as before. I am in a new local. I have leftists who would hate me if they knew what I have done. I still poke things for the better when I can free myself up. Act local. Act national. Act world. Be ready if you have to go into the game. You may not recognize it is the game if you are just acting normally. But major advantage is often gained in that war of ideas and minds by just stating your facts, analysis, opinions, jokes, understanding (and ridicule per Rules for Radicals and also good people), and what you believe and sometimes are emotional about.

DJT has taken Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” and flipped it, using those same principles against the Left. Ever notice how his 80s era book “The Art Of The Deal” is like an updated version of Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War”? Hell … even the titles are alike. This is why the Left hates and despises him so much. They can’t stand taking their own Progressive medicine.

Personally, I think the Qualifications for Registering to Vote should be EXACTLY the same Standard as those that obtain for legally buying a Firearm. After all, what reasonable person (OK, that lets all Democrats out, right there) would want anyone so Disqualified in a Voting Booth anyway?

The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of cause. William James.

he original idea of tying the franchise to the ownership of real property was brilliant. It gave the vote to persons with a stable relationship to the state and county wherein they lived. No such relationship can be assumed about renters and persons similarly detached from their places of residence.
That having been said, in our era those who own no real property — for concision’s sake, let’s call them renters — are more likely to vote than property owners! Moreover, they’d raise a world-class stink were it to be suggested that they be denied the franchise. They’d certainly oppose such an amendment to the Constitution. So returning to the original design seems unlikely.

Again, the federal Constitution did NOT restrict the franchise to men or whites. Some state constitutions might have done so. Restrictions on owning property in many states also worked to restrict the franchise. And the federal Constitution does not (until the 14th Amendment) stop the states from doing so. I have long advocated that those who take payments (that are not compensation for goods or services rendered, nor an insurance payout) from the gov’t should have their franchise restricted for the duration of those payments, and for up to half that time after stopping receiving payments. Given our current state of affairs, it would deliver some jurisdictions into the hands of a small group of people. Which really wouldn’t be any different than now.

I’ve maintained for years now that those on welfare or various forms of “the dole” should not be allowed to vote. They may again vote when they get back on their feet. I don’t have a problem with temporary welfare, but this generational thing we have going needs to end. To start, no additional bennies for new births. Bennies are fixed the moment of enrollment. No more farming your daughters so grannie can keep it rollin’ in. I’m afraid the ONLY way to make a return to the Constitution is through revolution. Those in power won’t willingly relinquish it. We’d have to replace the entirety of Congress with patriots in order to roll back the administrative state. That seems unlikely to happen through the ballot box.

Just a bit of wondering out loud… Do the same groups who read Day By Day Cartoon look upon it the same today as the groups who read Common Sence did in yesteryear? Another thought; it’s not necessary to mention the honoring of Memorial Day to this crowd but the Feds corrupted its meaning when they declared May 30th no longer the day of solemn remembrance by making it a long Federal weekend to celebrate the beginning of summer. Now that the States removing Confederate statues will the Days of Remembrance to the Confederate fallen be next for elimination? In NH there are more and more like thinkers who are attempting to use the first three boxes before the need of the reset box

Why I vote Democrat- Just Stirrin’ the Puddin’

Why I vote Democrat    
(comment by TheFallofAmerica on March 19, 2014) 

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single month.

I vote Democrat because I care about the children … but saddling them with trillions of dollars of debt to pay for my bloated leftist government is okay.

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s better to pay billions of dollars to people who hate us rather than drill for our own oil, because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.

I vote Democrat because I believe it is okay if liberal activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

I vote Democrat because I believe that corporate America should not be allowed to make profits for themselves or their shareholders. They need to break even and give the rest to the federal government for redistribution.

I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted, so long as we keep all of the murderers on death row alive.

I vote Democrat because I believe it’s okay if my Nobel Peace Prize winning President uses drones to assassinate people, as long as we don’t use torture.

I vote Democrat because I believe people, who can’t accurately tell us if it will rain on Friday, can predict the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Chevy Volt.

I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is not as important as preventing people from being offended.

I vote Democrat because I believe the oil companies’ profit of 3% on a gallon of gas is obscene, but the federal government taxing that same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t obscene.

I vote Democrat because I believe a moment of silent prayer at the beginning of the school day constitutes government indoctrination and an intrusion on parental authority ….. but sex education, condom distribution and multiculturalism are all values-neutral.

I vote Democrat because I agonize over threats to the natural environment from CO2, acid rain and toxic waste ….. but I am totally oblivious of the threats to our social environment from pornography, promiscuity and family dissolution.

I vote Democrat because I believe lazy, uneducated stoners should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

I vote Democrat because I don’t like guns ….. so no one else should be allowed to own one.

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between welfare and the rise of illegitimacy.

I vote Democrat because I see absolutely no correlation between judicial leniency and surging crime rates.

I vote Democrat because I believe you don’t need an ID to vote but you do to buy beer.

I vote Democrat because I believe marriage is obsolete, except for homosexuals.

I vote Democrat because I think AIDS is spread by insufficient funding.

I vote Democrat because I think “fairness” is far more important than freedom.

I vote Democrat because I think an “equal outcome” is far more important than equal opportunity.

I vote democrat because I would rather hide in a class room while others fight for my freedom.

I vote democrat because I’m not smart enough to own a gun and I need someone else to protect me.

I vote democrat because I would rather have free stuff than freedom.

And lastly, I vote Democrat because I’m convinced that government programs are the solution to the human condition, NOT freedom.

Re-posted from BizPac Review

Cat 7

New Ethernet Standards

(penned in 2016)

I migrated a data center in New York that had Cat7/7A Tera connectors from Siemon at the new location. Having never seen the connectors before, I started asking a lot of questions. Apparently when the new data center was designed and approved, it was designed for the next level standard. That was way before it was built. When it was built, they built it to the new standard. The standard is used mostly in Europe but not recognized in TIA/EIA-568. With 40Gb with 1 cable at 50M and 100Gb with 1 cable at 15M it seems like the way to go. The data center orders all of their cables from Siemon in Europe. Kind of expensive, but with Twinax cables (Or SFP or Fiber over Ethernet) costing as much as they do it might be worth it. With data centers becoming cloud-like having so many virtual machines and multiple application scenarios running, why haven’t we here in the states adapted to the new standard?

The first benefit I see is Siemon’s “Cable Sharing”. The shielded design allows for 1-, 2-, and 4-pair outlet and plug modularity exceeding 10GBASE-T and using a single patch panel outlet. That means multiple applications over the same cable at the same time. The next one I see is bandwidth. TERA allows bandwidth of up to 1.2 GHz per pair. CAT7/Class F specifications are the highest of any copper available copper system.

Having had to pull a few cables in buildings when you go from CAT5e or Cat 6 to Cat 6A you have to pull as many cables for same amount of outlets/jacks. CAT 6A is larger because of the shielding on each pair, plenum separating the pairs and the outer shielding. That means you need more space to pull the same amount of cables. With Cat 7/7A TERA’s 4 pair outlet you can run 2 cables to do the same workload as 3 of CAT 5e. The cables are pretty much the same diameter as CAT 6A. So let’s say your standard is 3 outlets per desk, one being a flood gate/or to give you some room to grow in the future. Pulling 2 CAT 7 will give you a 100Mbps data connection, separate voice for phone and an unused cable for future growth. The cost benefit of this cable-sharing technique is that you will actually get more outlets and more future proofing for the same cost as a Category 5e solution would have been.

Lastly, the new standard is backward compatible with CAT 5e, 6, and 6A. Although most manufactures of active equipment have chosen to stay with 8P8C for their 10GbE products, the GG45, ARJ45 and TERA connectors are available. In other words you can get a CAT 7 cable with a TERA connector on one end and a shielded RJ45 on the other.

I know other companies besides Siemon are working on the new standard. Commscope is one of them. Please feel free to comment with your ideas and thoughts.

Eons Law’s(An Online Acquaintance)

Several people, including most recently Bruno, have asked me about Eon’s Laws. They’re sort of like Murphy’s Laws, and they are based on my personal experiences and observations over a lifetime. I’m not saying they are definitive, but I generally find them pretty accurate predictors of human nature.

I have also found that some of them step on peoples’ toes.

So, with that in mind, buckle your seatbelts. This ride could get bumpy.

Eon’s Laws
First Law
Human beings choose to follow a belief systems, religious, political, or otherwise, which sanctify the sort of actions they would do anyway. The belief system just lets them feel self-righteous about what they want to do to others.
Second Law
If someone repeatedly and constantly tells you that he wants to kill you, you owe him the courtesy of assuming he really means it and respond appropriately.
Third Law
Hunter S. Thompson once observed that “entire empires have been done in by vengeful freaks claiming a special relationship with God”. He forgot the even greater number of polities destroyed by even more vengeful freaks who believed that they, themselves, were God.
Fourth Law
When anyone in government uses the phrase “For The Greater Good”, a smart man or woman quietly slides out through the nearest back exit. With one hand on their wallet, and the other on their sidearm.
Fifth Law
Any social system that relies solely on the “better nature” of the rulers to protect the ruled from the rulers, isn’t worth having.
Sixth Law
Never assume a politician will act against what he perceives as his personal best interests. And never, ever assume that he is being truthful when he acts in a way contrary to his philosophy and track record. You will spend your life being surprised and disappointed.
Seventh Law
There are two kinds of people who censor. Those who don’t want to face the facts and those who don’t want anyone else to know what the facts really are. Both are dangerous, just in slightly different ways.
Eighth Law
“Race” is not destiny. Culture absolutely is. Religion and politics are just a part of culture. Culture is the “operating system” of a civilization. Like any OS, it’s a case of GIGO; Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Ninth Law
Just because something is stupid or illogical won’t stop people from believing in it. Especially if they think they can get something out of it, like money or power.
Tenth Law
On average, about one out of twenty people likes hurting other people just for its own sake. Also on average, about half of that five percent become professional criminals. The other half become professional politicians.

Eleventh Law
Anyone who demands “social justice” has no interest in either “society” or “justice”. All they really want is power they can use to abuse everyone they don’t like.
Twelfth Law
There is no racist worse than one who believes himself to be “tainted” by that which he despises.
Thirteenth Law
Remember the Engineer’s Creed; When the real-world data doesn’t agree with the theory, believe the data and come up with a new theory. This is true of anything, but is particularly applicable to science and politics.

Fourteenth Law;
The Berlin Wall Theory; Only tyrants need to build walls and employ armed thugs to keep their subjects from fleeing.
Fifteenth Law;
Politicians should never seek to grant government powers they wouldn’t want their political opponents to have. Because barring a one-party dictatorship, sooner or later those opponents will be in charge.
Sixteenth Law;
You can always spot a would-be tyrant, of any stripe. They consider themselves invaluable and everybody else expendable.
Seventeenth Law;
Ultimately, government is less about doing things for the people than it is about doing things to the people. Whether the people want government doing those “things” or not.

That’s all, folks. Feel free to comment, throw bricks at or garlands, etc., as you please.


The Buddy Poppy

(Posted 10 November,2019)

On November 7th, 1920, in strictest secrecy, four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme.

None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why.

The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-Sur-Ter Noise. Once there, the bodies were draped with the union flag.

Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at random. The other three were reburied.

A French Honour Guard was selected and stood by the coffin overnight of the chosen soldier overnight.

On the morning of the 8th November, a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court arrived and the Unknown Warrior was placed inside.

On top was placed a crusaders sword and a shield on which was inscribed:

“A British Warrior who fell in the GREAT WAR 1914-1918 for King and Country”.

On the 9th of November, the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse-drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the quayside.

There, he was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Vernon bound for Dover. The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths, surrounded by the French Honour Guard.

Upon arrival at Dover, the Unknown Warrior was met with a nineteen gun salute – something that was normally only reserved for Field Marshals.

A special train had been arranged and he was then conveyed to Victoria Station, London.

He remained there overnight, and, on the morning of the 11th of November, he was finally taken to Westminster Abbey.

The idea of the unknown warrior was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served on the front line during the Great War the union flag he had used as an altar cloth whilst at the front, was the one that had been draped over the coffin.

It was his intention that all of the relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost husband, father, brother or son…

THIS is the reason we wear poppies.

We do not glorify war.

We remember – with humility – the great and the ultimate sacrifices that were made, not just in this war, but in every war and conflict where our service personnel have fought – to ensure the liberty and freedoms that we now take for granted.

Every year, on the 11th of November, we remember the Unknown Warrior.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Copied from War History Online

On Pain and Growth

(Penned in 2018)

I was recently reading a technical post where one special character would work in a password, but another, the one they wanted to use would not. My thought was ‘use the one that works’. Change is like a foreign concept to some people. I don’t think something like a password character would be dictated by corporate policy, but it could. Then my mind went to how I learned to change. I often ask people when I see them stuck on a problem or issue, “Do you know why I quit hitting my hand with a hammer?” The answer I usually get is “Because it hurt so much.” The actual answer, and the one I tell them is… “Because it felt so good when I stopped.” You can replace ‘hand’ with any body part you feel necessary to get the point across. Change (Pain) is inevitable, Growth is optional.

Why I work for my Employer

I was walking through the woods, looking for trees that were twisted by vines or blemished in some way to make walking sticks out of. That is my hobby, I tend to see a good cane, or walking stick, staff or cromach before it is finished. I was content and relaxed and wondered why. Then an idea popped into my head, that I was relaxed because I enjoyed what I was doing. I like de-barking and whittling the sticks, watching the character of the wood come out. I probably have 30 or 40 of them in my garage in various stages of creation. They don’t always end up being the stick I imagined when I cut it, but they come out like they are supposed to.

“I was relaxed because I enjoyed what I was doing.”  It occurred to me that I have been working for over 40 years and have not always been happy at doing it. In the Army the duty stations and positions changed. I was a forward observer in the artillery, but I supported Infantry, Armor and Air Cavalry (you should try calling for and spotting artillery from a helicopter sometime!) at various levels. I even had the pleasure of working as a Fire Support Sargent for General Schwarzkopf when he was a 2 star General. If I didn’t like the unit I was in I could request a transfer, or effect a change in my area of authority to make it better.

When I got out, I worked in a variety of fields, but settled into construction. I learned masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and eventually became a National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Certified Remodeler. To become a CR I had to pass an exam that was like the exams that a tradesman would have to pass to get a license. I created my own business and did what I wanted. I loved working with my hands and making things. I was happy at what I was doing, but there is a huge difference in working for yourself and being satisfied and working for someone else.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with cancer and in 2008 went through the radiation treatment for that. At the same time the housing bubble burst and all the home builders became remodelers. The radiation took a lot out of me as well as the new competition, so I closed my business. I couldn’t physically do the labor anymore. I spoke to a friend (a Cisco CCIE) about finding a new career and he suggested that I would make a good geek. I said something to the effect that there were so many areas to get into that I wouldn’t know what to go to college for. He replied, “Mike if you can keep them talking, you will always have a job.” So at almost 50 I went to college and got a AAS in Networking Systems Administration from DeVry University.

I have worked for a few corporations since then. Most were very good to work for and had great benefits. Some had a career path, and some didn’t. A couple of years ago, I started to work at HPE as a contractor in customer service for 3PAR. They literally trained us for 3 months before we were able to work on e-tickets, and then had to prove we could work on the phone. I think at that point I realized that the company and the direct supervisors wanted us to succeed. Because of my certifications and my networking experience they moved me to the SAN Switch team to help customers. HPE saw my expertise and placed me in a position to help train my peers, keep learning new technology and help the customer with a problem. Sometimes they were hardware related, sometimes software related but a lot of the time it was a configuration issue. Around the same time that HPE acquired SimpliVity, I was hired as an employee and asked to join that team.

For a position at a company to be worthwhile for me, I need to have a purpose. In order to find that purpose, I need to have goals. Goals give me purpose. I think that is one of the reasons I love what I do is that my immediate supervisor asked me where I wanted to be in 1 year, 2 years, etc. Once the goals are in place and I am working towards them, I feel a sense of fulfillment. With that being said, it seems to me that HPE culture is one of fulfillment first, then sustainability, trust, integrity and so forth.

My manager, his manager, her manager, and the North American manager all have taken the time to meet me, get to know me and find out what makes me tick. There are a couple of long-term career choices for me from my current position. Because my manager knows me and what my goals are, he has been able to open another possibility for me in the company for a long-term career direction. Most bosses just don’t do that. The employees at HPE are a product of these type of managers. I have never worked with a group of people that were so eager to help you understand a concept whether it be an old idea or a brand new one. If something comes up and you need to leave for the day, they ask if they can help you, then ask if they can finish your work.

Now, you may be wondering how I went from collecting sticks to working at HPE. I think that just like my being able to see a cane, walking stick, staff or cromach in a piece of wood in the forest, HPE can see their core values in their employees. Like I whittle and sand on my sticks, HPE helps their employees grow, set goals, be better service agents and engineers. By helping employees set goals and allowing them to work towards those goals they let their employees find purpose and fulfillment.